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win-it wednesday

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Disclosure: Sponsored by Lunchbox, all opinions are my own.

Halloween is coming up quickly, and I'm sure you've all been stocking up on candy for Trick-or-Treat... But have you thought about setting a few treats aside for the four-legged friends that may be accompanying the kids?

My friend and fellow Walmart Mom, Linsey of Lille Punkin', shared an adorable video with some ideas on how to put together a cute little Halloween treat that would make an easy gift for the playful pups in your neighborhood! I'd love it if you'd take a minute to check it out -- I know she worked really hard on it. Plus, her dog, Gilbert, is just so darn sweet in his monarch butterfly costume!

Also, don't miss the FREE Trick or Treat Em' door hanger download! Hang it on your door to let guests know that you have a special something for their furry friends.

Win A $500 Walmart Gift Card!

Treat The Pups Banner 7

If you've got a favorite photo of your pup dressed up for Halloween, you could win a $500 Walmart gift card! (And if not, get him or her dressed up and snap one now!) Share your photo on Instagram via the The Big Heart Pet Hub Gift Card Sweepstakes, and you could be the lucky winner of one of the following awesome prizes:

  • First Prize (1): One (1) $500 Wal-Mart Gift Card (ARV $500).
  • Second Prize (1): One (1) $100 Wal-Mart Gift Card (ARV $100).
  • Third Prize (1): One (1) $50 Wal-Mart Gift Card (ARV $50).

Be sure to check out to see all of the photo entries! There are some seriously cute doggies on there already... But yours is cuter, right? Unfortunately, my grumpy 14-year-old Italian Greyhound is having none of that!


Clean Refrigerator Challenge + $50 Viva Towels Giveaway!

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 7, 2014 · 92 comments

This is slightly embarrassing, but I have a confession to make... You guys know I'm all about saving time and money, right? And I've shared before how a clean refrigerator can help save both.

Well, the truth is I honestly cannot remember the last time I've deep cleaned my refrigerator. I can't even begin to describe the terrible state it had reached, so I'll show you a photo:

Everything stuffed in haphazardly, crumbs, stickiness -- who knows what's lurking in the back?!? But the worst of it wasn't even revealed until I removed the long snack drawer on the bottom...

Apparently at some point several months ago (at least), my kids spilled a significant amount of milk inside the fridge. While they must have thought they wiped up the mess, they clearly did not realize that most of it ran down under the snack drawer. I'm gagging just thinking about it. I will have nightmares about scrubbing that funk out for the next year!

It took a good 45 minutes and a lot of elbow grease, but I turned on some music and started scrubbing. Several Viva Towels later I had this:

Much better, isn't it?!? I took everything out, checking expiration dates as I went and tossing anything that was past its prime. Surprisingly, there wasn't much to get rid of -- I mostly just needed to organize everything better.

After pulling it all out, I was easily able to pull out the drawers (this is when I discovered the milk, blech), which made wiping the shelves and drawers down an easy task. Putting everything back into the fridge in an organized manner was much easier since I had a clean slate to work with.

Now the trick is to maintain it! Since we receive our weekly produce bins on Fridays, I'm pencilling in a quick once-over for Friday mornings with a deep-cleaning once a month.

Are You Ready To Take The Clean Refrigerator Challenge?

Now it's your turn -- I'm challenging you to whip your refrigerator into tip-top shape at some point over the next week. What's the oldest item you had to toss or the worst mess you had to clean up in your refrigerator? Share in the comments and you could win a Viva Towels prize package valued at $50!


Today, one lucky Deal Seeking Mom reader will win $50 in Viva products!!! Follow the instructions in the widget below to be entered to win...

Be sure to check out the Pick Up The Values website for more valuable printable coupons, including savings on Viva products!

This post is brought to you by Kimberly-Clark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Share Your Thoughts to Win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 2, 2014 · 8 comments

Walmart is interested in getting your feedback on your back to school shopping experience, Black Friday and the new Savings Catcher tool. Help shape your shopping experience by providing them with your thoughts and opinions via this quick and easy survey! This information goes straight to the folks in Bentonville, Arkansas, giving them real insight into the topics that concern you the most.

Take the Walmart survey now!

One Deal Seeking Mom reader will win a $50 Walmart gift card for sharing his or her opinions. Please be sure to include your name, email address, and that you were referred by Deal Seeking Mom in your answer to the first question so that I can contact you to send you your gift card if you're the lucky winner!

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Responses will be accepted through Wednesday, October 8th.

Walmart Moms Disclosure


My October Weeknight Meal Plan + $50 Cottonelle Giveaway!

by Tara Kuczykowski on September 29, 2014 · 104 comments

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

While I've shared in the past that sticking with a meal plan isn't one of my virtues, I'm going to give it an honest go for October. We've got a busy month coming up with three weekend soccer tournaments and a business trip for me mid-month, so hopefully having a plan in place will help alleviate some of the stress!

Two things before we get to my plan... Weekends are almost always up in the air for us until the last minute, so I'm only going to plan out our weeknights. Also, we rotate through a number of different side dishes, so I'll just list a specific side when it makes sense and share some of our other faves apart from the main dishes after the plan.

One Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken

:: Week One (9/29-10/3)

chocolate chip coffee muffins
freezer smoothies

grilled honey lime chicken, coconut milk rice
dinner out
one pot cilantro lime chicken w/ corn & blackbeans, leftover coconut milk rice
grilled lemon basil pork chops, lemony basil orzo pasta salad
homemade pizza night

Cilantro Chipotle Barbecue Chicken Thighs

:: Week Two (10/6-10/10)

crunchy homemade granola bars
apple muffins

cilantro chipotle barbecue grilled chicken thighs
Italian wedding soup, bread machine sourdough bread
leftovers (business trip)
pizza carryout (business trip)
dinner out (soccer tournament)

Banana Bread Recipe

:: Week Three (10/13-10/17)

no bake peanut butter bars
banana bread

beef barbacoa burrito bowls, coconut milk rice, Mexican sweet corn cake (if I'm feeling ambitious)
creamy tomato basil soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
4-ingredient mini chicken pot pies
dinner out (soccer tournament)

Mango Bread Recipe

:: Week Four (10/20-10/24)

mango bread
pumpkin bread

homemade chicken and dumplings
zuppa toscana soup, homemade breadsticks
walking tacos
homemade pizza night

Easy Chili Recipe

:: Week Five (10/27-10/31)

apples with homemade caramel sauce
chocolate-covered pumpkin pretzels

slow cooker chili
slow cooker cola pulled pork sliders
leftovers (Trick-or-Treat night)
dinner out (soccer tournament)

Roasted Sesame Asparagus

As I mentioned, we're pretty laid back when it comes to side dishes. Usually I can throw together at least one of the sides below with whatever comes in our weekly produce box and/or what's in my pantry -- and my family is fine with that!

Now it's your turn to share... What's on your menu this week or month? Share in the comments or leave a link to your menu plan post and you could win a Cottonelle prize package valued at $50!


Today, one lucky Deal Seeking Mom reader will win $50 in Cottonelle products!!! Follow the instructions in the widget below to be entered to win...

Be sure to check out the Pick Up The Values website for more valuable printable coupons, including savings on Cottonelle products!

This post is brought to you by Kimberly-Clark. All opinions are 100% mine.


My 5 Favorite FREE Money-Saving Apps + $50 Pull-Ups Giveaway

by Tara Kuczykowski on September 24, 2014 · 36 comments

I'll just be completely honest, there have been many shopping trips recently where I haven't used a single paper coupon... Are you a bit shocked? I'm guessing maybe some of you are, but I'm also betting that there are a good number of you out there saying, "Yeah, I'm going through one of those stages, too."

It makes me laugh to remember how I used to think that when my kids were just a little older, we'd have it made. No, we didn't plan to have 5 kids in the span of less than 6 years (and I wouldn't change it for the world), but the thing about those babies and toddlers and preschoolers growing up is... they grow up.

As they get older they don't need the same kind of constant physical attention for feeding and bathing and napping, etc... BUT they do need shuttled here and there for school and activities, as well as help with homework that I don't even understand myself sometimes. And they still need fed amidst all of that! And reminded to shower, and on and on.

So, yeah, that's the stage we're at now. And finding the time to clip and sort coupons just may be the task that tips me over the edge from slightly frazzled soccer mom to that crazy-insane mom that we need to steer clear of at all costs. And I don't wanna be that mom!

5 FREE Money-Saving Apps

But the good news is that there are still plenty of ways to save money on groceries and more that don't involve cutting a single coupon! And since my phone is my lifeline these days, it seemed only natural to look for ways to use it to save our family some cash.

Though I have a number of money-saving apps downloaded to my phone, the five below are the tried and true gems that I find myself using over and over again.

Ibotta offers cash back rebates on groceries, health & beauty, apparel, restaurants and more. I use it mainly for groceries, and it's super simple to redeem the rebates by submitting a photo of your receipt. A handful of stores offer redemption via your store loyalty card, but I haven't tried this option because it's not available in my area.

There are also opportunities to earn bonuses on your rebates based on referring friends and redeeming multiple rebates within a given month. You can cash out via Paypal when your account reaches $5, or you can choose to redeem your savings for a variety of gift cards.

What I love most about Ibotta is that, in addition to the typical product coupons we see, there are often savings on items that rarely have coupons. Currently you can save $1.00 off a gallon of milk, $0.25 off any brand of orange juice, and $0.25 off a dozen eggs -- all items that are typically on my shopping list!

Register for Ibotta

Checkout 51 is very similar to Ibotta in that you snap a photo of your receipt and submit it to receive rebates. While there aren't as many bonus opportunities for saving, they also seem very dedicated to offering rebates on fresh produce and other staples. When your account reaches $20 in savings, you can cash out by requesting a check.

My favorite offers this week include $0.25 off bananas, $0.50 off a dozen eggs (combine with the Ibotta rebate!), and $0.25 off any salad mix.

Register for Checkout 51

SavingStar rebates can actually be redeemed online, but since I mostly use the app on my phone, I included them in this list. SavingStar offers can be redeemed by submitting your receipt or there are a few stores that offer automatic redemption when you attach your store loyalty card to your account. Cash out via Paypal when your account reaches $5, or you can redeem the balance for an Amazon gift card.

They seem to have fewer offers that I'm interested in personally, but I do love their fresh produce Healthy Offer of the Week. This week's offer is 20% off loose apples! Savingstar also has a FREE deal each week that runs for three days, starting on Friday.

Register for SavingStar

The Amazon Mobile app makes my top five because I use it frequently for checking the prices in stores when I'm shopping. Now that's not to say that I check every single item I purchase, but I have a certain price point in mind that I always price check over and above. We have an Amazon Prime subscription, so if an item is available at a lower price with Prime shipping, it almost always worth the extra day or two to purchase online.

Download Amazon Mobile

The new Savings Catcher app from Walmart is the newest addition to my list, but it's quickly became one of my favorites. Simply scan your receipts to submit them after making a purchase at Walmart, and they will automatically compare the prices with competitor stores in your area. If an item you bought turns out to be price lower at another store, Walmart will refund the difference to a Walmart Rewards eGift Card.

Even better, I just noticed that if you open up a Bluebird Account, you'll receive 2X the savings back! I already have almost $15 in savings in my account, so I'm definitely going to look into the Bluebird option.

More about Savings Catcher

Sometimes I'll check out these apps before I shop, and other times I'll just scan them once I'm home to see if I can take advantage of the savings. Since I'm trying to get in the habit of only buying what my family needs, the second option eliminates the temptation to just pick up an item because it's a good deal. Simplicity is the key for me right now!

Now it's your turn to share... What is your favorite money-saving app? Share in the comments and you could win a Pull-Ups prize package valued at $50!


Today, one lucky Deal Seeking Mom reader will win his or her choice of $50 in Pull-Ups products!!! Follow the instructions in the widget below to be entered to win...

Be sure to check out the Pick Up The Values website for more valuable printable coupons, including savings on Pull-Ups products!

This post is brought to you by Kimberly-Clark. All opinions are 100% mine.